Pumpkin season

Early October sees the harvest of pumpkins and squash - if the weather is kind through September these will ripen nicely in the field, but they do benefit from a short 'curing time' in the warmer greenhouse/shed. The fresh tops seal through a natural drying process meaning squash can then be stored until the late winter providing much welcome colour and tasty food through the darker months.

We grow a number of different varieties at Roots; mostly edible squash and a few pumpkins. Our favourites are those that roast well, Amoro, Bellatrix, Blue Ballet, Fictor, Marina di Chioggia and Musquee de Provence - they sound like the cast of a Harry Potter story!

These veg are easy to make delicious meals with, except that you must take note of the ONLY way to cut into them - using the sharp point of a knife into the top of the squash cutting down onto a substantial board keeping all fingers well back. Cut into wedges, scoop out the seeds and lay out on a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil, maybe garlic, chilli, rosemary or sage if you like - they will take around 45 minutes to be tender to a knife.

The cooked flesh is great for soup, adding to mash, eating with meats, chunking into a wintry pasta/cous sous salad. It is also the starting point for a delicious filling for ravioli or tortellini.